Seattle Mariners Director of Player Development Chris Gwynn announced today the Mariners Minor League Awards for the 2015 season: INF/DH Jesus Montero (Tacoma/Seattle) and OF Tyler O’Neill (Bakersfield) were named Co-Players of the Year, RH Edwin Diaz (Bakersfield/Jackson) was named the Starting Pitcher of the Year, LH Paul Fry (Bakersfield/Jackson) was named Relief Pitcher of the Year and OF Jabari Blash (Jackson/Tacoma) received the Heart and Soul Award for his exemplary play and leadership.
Montero, O’Neill, Diaz, Fry and Blash will be honored in a pre-game ceremony at Safeco Field prior to the Mariners game vs. the Athletics on Saturday, October 3. The Mariners will also recognize SS Drew Jackson, who was named Northwest League Player of the Year and Rob Mummau, who was named Northwest League Manager of the Year.
Co-Players of the Year
Jesus Montero (1B/DH: 2013 – 4th season with Mariners organization acquired in trade in 2012)
Tyler O’Neill (OF: 2013 – 3rd round – Garibaldi Secondary, British Columbia)
Montero hit .355 (140×374) with 70 runs scored, 18 doubles, 6 triples, 18 home runs, 85 RBI, 29 walks and 3 stolen base in 98 games over three stints with Tacoma. Amongst PCL league leaders ranked 2nd in average (.355) and slugging percentage (.569), 3rd in on-base percentage (.398) and OPS (.966), 7th in RBI (85), 8th in hits (140) and 10th in total bases (224). He was recently named to the All-PCL Team and was also a member of the PCL All-Star Team, but did not participate after being promoted to Seattle.
O’Neill hit .260 (106×407) with 68 runs, 21 doubles, 2 triples, 32 home runs and 87 RBI in 106 games with Bakersfield. He was 1 of 7 minor league players to hit at least 30 home runs, including finishing T2nd along with Mariners farmhand Jabari Blash with 32 home runs. Prior to this season O’Neill had hit only 14 home runs combined in his first two professional seasons. He was also a member of Team Canada who won the gold medal in the Pan Am Games on July 19 with a 7-6 victory in 10 innings over Team USA.
Heart & Soul Award
Jabari Blash (SS: 2010 – 8th round – Charlotte Amalie High School, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands)
Blash hit .271 (110×406) with 79 runs scored, 24 doubles, 2 triples, 32 home runs, 81 RBI, 59 walks and 8 stolen bases in 116 games combined between Jackson and Tacoma. Blash along with Mariners farmhand Tyler O’Neill finished 2nd among all minor league players with 32 home runs this season, including being 1 of 7 players with at least 30 home runs in 2015. Blash hit 10 home runs in his final 16 games (w/AB) and 14 home runs in 29 games in August (w/AB). His 14 homers in August led all minor league players during the month and were also the most in any single month during the season.
Starting Pitcher of the Year
Edwin Diaz (RHP: 2012 – 3rd round – Caguas Military Academy, Puerto Rico)
Diaz, who was named Mariners Co-Starting Player of the Year in 2014, went 7-10 with a 3.82 ERA (60 ER, 141.1 IP) in 27 starts combined between Bakersfield and Jackson. He limited opponents to a .237 batting average (123×520), while walking 46 and striking out 145. Diaz led all Mariners farmhands with 145 strikeouts and finished T3rd with 7 wins. Amongst all minor league players he ranked 9th in strikeouts per 9.0 innings (9.23) and T13th in strikeouts (145).
Relief Pitcher of the Year
Paul Fry (RHP: 2013 – 17th round – St. Clair Community College)
Fry went 4-5 with 9 saves and a 2.03 ERA (18 ER, 80.0 IP) in 50 relief appearances combined with Bakersfield and Jackson. He limited opponents to a .230 average (68×296), while walking 24 and striking out 113. With Jackson he went 0-2 with 7 saves and a 1.80 ERA (5 ER, 25.0 IP) in 22 relief appearances, including allowing only 1 earned run over his final 17.1 innings (0.52 ERA). Amongst all minor league pitchers his strikeout rate (12.71 K/9.0 IP) was 3rd-lowest (min. 75.0 IP).
Northwest League Player of the Year
Drew Jackson (SS: 2015 – 5th round – Stanford University)
Jackson was named Player of the Year by the Northwest League after batting .358 (81×226) with 64 runs scored, 12 doubles, 1 triple, 2 home runs, 26 RBI, 30 walks and 47 stolen bases in 59 games with the AquaSox this season. He led the league in average, stolen bases, on base percentage and runs scored, while finishing 2nd in OPS and hits. Jackson was recently named the Northwest League Player of the Month for August, won two Player of the Week awards during the season and was rated by Baseball America as the #5 prospect in the Northwest League following the 2015 season.
MLB.com reporter Jonathan Mayo caught up with Mariners top prospect DJ Peterson prior to the Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game. Peterson is playing for the Surprise Saguaros in the Fall League.
MILB.com published an article this morning naming the Mariners organizational minor league All-Stars and has comments from Director of Player Development Chris Gwynn. This is a good read on our minor league players and the fine seasons they put together. You can click on the photo below to access the article via MiLB.com.
If you are looking for a place to find out if Felix Hernandez led the American League in ERA during the first half of the season, or if Robinson Cano was among the AL leaders in batting average, we’ve got you covered. The annual Mariners Mid-Season Report has been published and we would love to share with our fans. Enjoy reading about the Mariners 4 All-Stars (Felix, Cano, Rodney, Kyle) and an abundance of baseball statistics. There is even a complete rundown of the Mariners minor league system for you to freshen up on who is playing well down on The Farm!
Seattle Mariners Vice President of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik and Director of Player Development Chris Gwynn have announced the extension of the Player Development Contract with the Everett AquaSox, the Mariners Short-A affiliate in the Northwest League. The Player Development Contract, which would have run out at the end of the 2014 season, has been extended to cover the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
“It is wonderful for the Seattle Mariners organization to have a Northwest affiliate so close to Seattle,” said Mariners General Manager Jack Zduriencik. “We have a great relationship with the Everett AquaSox ownership and everyone involved with the entire operation. It is great that the AquaSox and the Mariners can share such a strong fan base in the Northwest. We enjoy working closely with the AquaSox franchise as we develop Major League talent.”
“We are pleased to extend our partnership with the Mariners,” said AquaSox Executive Vice President Tom Backemeyer, “And we are excited that future Mariners will continue to get their start here in Everett.”
The AquaSox have been affiliated with the Seattle Mariners for 20 seasons, becoming the Mariners affiliate in the Northwest League on September 12, 1994. The AquaSox play their home games at Everett Memorial Stadium, located in Everett, Wash., less than 30 miles north of Seattle.
“We’re delighted to renew our affiliation with the Everett AquaSox,” said Mariners Director of Player Development Chris Gwynn. “The city of Everett and the AquaSox fan-base have always been great supporters of our minor leaguers and the entire Mariners organization and we’re looking forward to continuing to bring a great brand of baseball to the area for years to come.”
The AquaSox franchise has helped develop current Mariners Willie Bloomquist, Felix Hernandez, James Jones, Dominic Leone, Yoervis Medina, Michael Saunders, Tom Wilhelmsen and Mike Zunino.
The current Everett roster includes 2014 draft picks RHP Dan Altavilla (5th), RHP Kody Kerski (8th), C Adam Martin (10th), INF Chris Mariscal (14th), RHP Vinny Nittoli (25th), INF Sheehan Planas-Arteaga (24th) and INF Taylor Smart (26th).
Game #50: Seattle Mariners (24-25) vs. Los Angeles Angels (28-21) | 1:10 pm | Safeco Field
Starting Pitchers: RHP Chris Young (3-2, 3.53) vs. LHP Tyler Skaggs (4-1, 4.14)
Radio: 710 ESPN Seattle and the Mariners Radio Network…also on Mariners.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: The game will be televised on ROOT SPORTS
Live Stats: MLB Gameday will provide a live box score with pitch-by-pitch data
Game Information: Mariners | Angels | Mariners-Angels History
Here is today’s Game Information and Minor League Report:
MLBPipeline.com’s 2014 Top 100 Prospects list will be unveiled on Thursday, Jan. 23, on MLB.com, as well as during a one-hour show on MLB Network airing at 7 pm PT. Leading up to that, MLBPipeline.com takes a look at baseball’s Top 10 prospects at each position.
The top 10 catching prospects were announced today, and the Mariners Tyler Marlette is listed No. 10 on the list. Here is what MLB.com had to say about Tyler:
Tyler Marlette, Mariners: Not every catching prospect was a high Draft pick or big international signing. The Mariners nabbed Marlette in the 5thround in the 2011 Draft, and he’s slowly developing into an intriguing power-hitting prospect. He has the chance to hit some long balls and for a decent average. He has good arm strength and his other defensive skills have started to catch up a bit. Marlette could put up some silly numbers in the California League this year on his way up the ladder.
Marlette, 20, appeared in 75 games for Clinton last season in the Single-A Midwest League. He batted .304 (82×270) with 17 doubles, 6 home runs and 37 RBI. Behind the plate he threw out 37.8 percent of attempted base stealers (28 of 74). Marlette was originally selected by the Mariners in the 5th round of the 2011 June Draft out of Hagerty High School (Oviedo, FL).
And in case you haven’t seen it, Tyler and several of his Clinton teammates last night are quite the actors starring in several Wahl Grooming commercials. Check them out below and see if you can spot Tyler!
This offseason, MiLB.com is honoring the players — regardless of age or prospect status — who had the best seasons in their organizations. Today the Mariners organization was featured on the website, and gives a good look at the players who excelled down on the farm last season.
Here are the Mariners Organizational All-Stars as picked by MiLB.com:
Catcher: Tyler Marlette
First Base: Ji-Man Choi
Second Base: Ty Kelly
Third Base: D.J. Peterson
Shortstop: Brad Miller
Outfielders: Abraham Almonte, Jabari Blash, Julio Morban
Utility: Chris Taylor
Right-Handed Pitcher: Taijuan Walker
Left-Handed Pitcher: James Paxton
Relief Pitcher: Carson Smith
You can read more about each player in the following link.
He has remained a part of the Mariners family since he retired from baseball in 2005, whether it was on TV & Radio broadcasts, on the Mariners Caravan or at FanFest, but now Dan Wilson is officially back in a Mariners uniform as the Minor League Catching Coordinator.
In his new role, Dan will work with Mariners catchers at all levels, beginning during Spring Training and continuing throughout the minor league season. He will travel to each of the Mariners affiliates several times during the season to work with Seattle’s young catchers.
Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik echoed the thoughts of all Mariners fans:
“We are happy to have Dan, one of our former players, affiliated with us,” Zduriencik said. “His on-field experience and passion for the Mariners organization makes him a great fit in his new role with us. We are looking forward to Dan’s contributions as he spends hands-on time with our players.”
Wilson, 44, spent 14 seasons catching in the Majors, debuting with Cincinnati (1992-93) and spending the bulk of his career with the Mariners (1994-2005). He has caught more games (1,281) than any other player in Mariners history and was the starting catcher on every Mariners team to reach the post-season. Dan owns the Mariners career record for home runs by a catcher (88, including 2 inside-the-park homers), and the Club’s single-season records for catchers RBI (83, 1996) and home runs (18, 1996).
Dan ended his career with a .995 fielding percentage, at the time the highest for any catcher in American League history, and the sixth-highest in Major League history. Wilson was an American League All-Star in 1996, and was inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame in 2012.
In addition to his on-field accomplishments Dan, and his family, have played an active philanthropic role in the Seattle community. Dan and his wife, Annie, were the 2012-2013 United Way of King County annual campaign co-chairs, and have long supported First Place School, the adoption agency All God’s Children International and Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Mariners outfield prospect Stefen Romero wasn’t in the starting lineup for the West squad in the 2013 Arizona Fall League All-Star game, but that didn’t stop him from having a great performance. Romero entered the game in the 6th inning and went 2-for-2 with 2 home runs (both to the opposite field) with 3 RBI.
In a story by MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo, Romero talked about his big performance.
“I was just trying square the ball up,” said Romero, who helped the West beat the East, 9-2. “Coming in, I knew we were up early. I felt like they were going to try to get ahead of me early. Luckily, my first at-bat, I jumped on a fastball right away up in the zone. Luckily, it went out, a wall-scraper. Second at-bat, I just wanted to be a little more patient. Fortunately, he got a slider up and I did the same thing.”
Here is a video from MLB.com of Romero’s home runs: